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Do you Whitewash your Production Orders?

In this short blog post I detail how Production/Process Order header statuses should be used.  I then provide one example of misused statuses that I’ve seen many times in my 20+ years as a PP Consultant.

Production/Process Order statuses allow company departments to communicate with one another

In the schematic and table below you can see the Order status progress from Planner to Controller. Each status: REL, CNF, DLV and TECO should be used to “hand off” the Order from one department to the next.

Statuses are used to hand-off the Order between departments


Step OLD Status NEW Status Meaning of NEW Status Who sets status?
1 Planned Order CRTD You have moved from the PLANNED to the SCHEDULED phase. The PLANNED quantity and finish date have been “cast in stone”. Planner or Scheduler
2 CRTD REL You can begin production and confirm material and activity to the order. Production Scheduler
3 REL CNF* The final operation has been confirmed for the last time.  Production is complete. Shop Floor Operators
4 CNF* DLV* All finished material that was made on the order has been goods receipted to inventory. Delivery to inventory is complete. ACTUAL dates and quantities are established. Inventory Maintainer
5 CNF & DLV TECO The Order has been reviewed:  all goods movements, activity postings and statuses are correct.  The Error in Goods Movements Report (“COGI report”) is clear. Production Supervisor
6 TECO CLSD All controlling activities have been completed; the Controller is finished with this order. Financial Controller

* If automatic goods receipt is set in the control key of the operation the delivery status will be updated at the same time as the confirmation status.

A common misuse of statuses is that Production/Process Orders don’t reach the status Finally Confirmed-CNF and Fully Delivered-DLV on the shop floor.  This creates a work around process for which I have two names: “The Rush to TECO” or “Whitewashing your Orders”.  I use them interchangeably.



Tom Sawyer Whitewashing the fence

The Rush to TECO or Whitewashing your Orders

The Shop Floor Operators leave the Order’s status at PCNF & PDLV even though they have completed production.  They know when they have completed the Order so they should acknowledge this during their last confirmation.

This leads to work-around processes:

The Supervisor must rush to get the Order to the status of Technically Complete (TECO) so that remaining reservations, capacity requirements and expected goods receipts are removed right after the Operators have completed the Order.  If this is not done, the Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Available to Promise (ATP) and Capacity Planning for subsequent Orders are compromised. This TECO status whitewashes the Order because it covers up the incorrect statuses PCNF and PDLV that have been left by the Shop Floor Operators.

An alternate work-around that I’ve seen is that the Planner or Scheduler will edit the quantity of the Order to match the delivered quantity.  This is also an incorrect process because it compromises the data for the Plan vs Scheduled vs Actual reports (the Order Information System reports).  And it adds a lot of manual work!

Here are some possible causes:

  • Incorrect configuration of the Confirmation Type in the IMG step: Define Confirmation Parameters.
  • Shop Floor Operators fail to set “Final Confirmation” and “Clear Open Reservations” during the last confirmation.
  • If an Radio Frequency (RF) or Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is used to confirm Orders it wasn’t designed to collect and transmit the CNF and DLV statuses.
  • Incorrect Delivery tolerances set on the Material Master on the Work Scheduling tab.


The Production/Process Order statuses allow for easy communication and hand off between departments.  They should be used correctly.

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  • Hi Ann,

    Depiction of "Statuses are used to hand-off the Order between departments" is very nice to make every one understand on how the status handover should happen. This is the ideal case and best use case to treat execution of production / process order. As you rightly said, one more observation I experienced is on performing production order REL to DLV at the end of the shift / day of production which deviates this functionality. ERP order execution to be used hand in hand with physical operation then only it is possible to some extent if followed with discipline. What you say?

    • I agree Sharat.  The Order should be Released (REL) just right before production begins, allowing only enough time to stage the materials from the warehouse and staff the production line with operators.  Orders should be confirmed frequently (statuses PCNF and PDLV), at least at the end of each shift. When the Order is done it should be finally confirmed with CNF and DLV.

  • Hi Ann Hustis

    I do appreciate your writing. It's all so logical when you explain it. You are 100% that TECO status is overused. I'd even say it's abused as it should be only used if the production ended prematurely and will not be continued.

    Here is what SAP Help says on Technical Completion of a Production Order

    This function is usually used, if the execution of an order has to be stopped prematurely or if the order could not be executed in the required manner and open requirements for the order (reservations, capacities) should be deleted.

    Also I think that the power of deletion flag status is underestimated. It should be set for all closed orders as it improves system performance a lot. I need to write a short article on that one day.

    Best regards

    Dominik Tylczynski



    • Thanks for your comments Dominik.  You're right - SAP intended TECO to be used when the order stopped prematurely.

      In addition to that use I use it as a handoff from the Production Supervisor to the Financial Controller because often Production takes some time to clear COGI errors and adjust some component goods issues especially in a batch controlled environment.  TECO tells the Financial Controller that the Production department is done.  Of course the Controller does not have to wait until TECO to do his follow on processes like Settlement.  It just means he can't complain about order variances until production says it's done.

      I really like the idea of running a batch job that sets the deletion flag 6 months after the order was completed.  That way the COOIS / COOISPI reports run much quicker.

      Thank you again Dominik.

      Best regards,





      • I'd flagged them even earlier. Order flagged for deletion are still accessible and visible in the system. But the flagged speeds up not only PP reporting but most importantly production settlement month end activities.

        I really like your idea of TECO as a gateway from production execution to production controlling.


        Dominik Tylczynski

    • Hi Dominik, (Hi Ann)

      I think this blog is well written and gives valuable information but I beg to disagree in two points.

      SAP's help documentation is undervalued and should be read more often but this specific part is misleading. Maybe it describes the intention of the early 90's but if so then SAP didnt follow through.

      The normal and recommended process is - in my opinion and experience - to use TECO for all orders.

      Using CLSD without TECO for orders which met the targets and TECO for the others is in general not practical.

      And while if would be nice if the shop floor operators (or MES interfaces) could do a final confirmation and set 'delete open reservations' this in many processes is just not possible because either they do not know that it is the last confirmation or there is no confirmation at all for this operation.

      On the other side I very much agree with:

      The Order has been reviewed:  all goods movements, activity postings and statuses are correct.  The Error in Goods Movements Report (“COGI report”) is clear.

      In general a systematic review process of orders to be TECO'd is very important.

      Automatic TECO based only on order status should only be done in case of perfect processes without room for technical or human error. And this is rare. In normal cases we need to review the orders for consistency ( Goods Receipt vs. confirmations vs. Component Goods Issues) via  COOIS  or maybe Add-on developments.

      Best regards, Martin Preiss

      • Thanks for your comment Martin, I appreciate it!

        I agree that all orders should get to the TECO status eventually, once the order has been reviewed by the Production Supervisor.  And yes, it would be nice if SAP updated their documentation to reflect this additional use of TECO.

        With regard to your comment: And while if would be nice if the shop floor operators (or MES interfaces) could do a final confirmation and set ‘delete open reservations’ this in many processes is just not possible because either they do not know that it is the last confirmation or there is no confirmation at all for this operation.

        In my experience the operators almost always know the order is done so they can set the Final Confirmation, (Final Delivery) and delete open reservations on the last confirmation of the last operation.  If the Routing/Recipe is designed with correct control keys using milestones this will set CNF to all operations that preceded it.

        In the exception process where the operator thought the order was going to continue but the supervisor says "No that's it; we're done with this order" that would be a perfect situation for the scheduler to do a special confirmation whose only purpose is to set the CNF, DLV and delete open reservations.  I'm reluctant to say that he should TECO the order at this point because likely the order review has not yet been done so it's not fully ready to be TECO'd.

        Best regards,



  • Hello Ann Hustis

    Really appropriate your efforts for this great blog.

    Very Good blog which explains about importance of each status of production order and its position at each actual production Process.

    However, I would like to highlight on Closed(CLSD) status of production order. In most of the case i observed  that business does not know use/importance of this CLSD  status of production order, they only apply TECO status thats it.

    It will directly impact on monthly settlement process as system take into consideration all production orders which has TECO status and its unnecessarily increase time of background job which is schedule for monthly settlement of production orders. So its recommended to apply at least CLSD or DEL status to production orders which totally completed and no need carry out further any process on the same.

    Again thanks a lot for your great blog.

    Keep posting such informative blogs.


    Best Regards,